Liverpool sign Joe Allen
The lure of working with Brendan Rodgers again was too much for Joe Allen to resist.
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Allen completed his move from Swansea on Friday evening, signing a long-term contract with the Merseyside giants.
The 22-year-old was at Anfield to watch Thursday night's Europa League win over FC Gomel and see at first hand the effect Rodgers has already had since he replaced Kenny Dalglish.
And having worked with the Northern Irishman in South Wales, he cannot wait to get started.
"To join back up with him was definitely a big pull for me," Allen told www.liverpoolfc.com.
"Brendan is so passionate about his football. He works day in, day out to improve the team and everyone individually.
"Everyone wants to work alongside someone who has that way about them.
"One of his best things is his man management. He commands the respect of everyone.
"I have a lot of faith that Brendan can bring success.
"I wanted to be part of this project and I've really got a good feeling this football club is going to go from strength to strength in the next couple of seasons."
The move completes a remarkable rise for Allen, who joined the Swansea academy as a nine-year-old.
Allen was part of Swansea's surge to the Premier League from League One, winning international honours at all levels along the way.
He was one of the inspirations behind the club's return to the top flight, which earned him selection to the Great Britain Olympic squad.
Asked if he would have believed five years ago that this day would come, Allen replied: "No, probably not.
"It was hard to believe at first and very flattering to be linked to a top club like this. It shows you're doing something right, I guess.
"I've always been ambitious and wanting to get to the top but getting there is a completely different thing. It's definitely hard to believe. It's been a quick rise for me."
Allen becomes Rodgers' second signing following the arrival of another former Swansea player, Fabio Borini, who scored the opener on Thursday.
And he believes that grounding in the lower league will help him in the months that lie ahead.
"If you look at the amount of games I've played for someone my age, that would probably only happen at a team that's come through the leagues," he said.
"That experience has been vital for me.
"I blossomed and improved because of that and I wouldn't change it for the world.
"I feel proud. I am really thrilled and looking forward to my time here."
Joe Allen factfile
1990: Born on March 14 in Carmarthen.
2007: January 6 - Having been with Swansea since the age of nine, appears as an unused substitute in the FA Cup tie against then-Premier League side Sheffield United.
January 15 - Handed his Swans debut in the FAW Premier Cup away tie to Welsh Premier League outfit Port Talbot Town.
May 5 - Makes his first league appearance in the final game of the season in the 6-3 defeat to Blackpool.
August 14 - Named man of the match in his first start for Swansea in the Carling Cup win over Walsall.
August 16 - Commits his future to Swansea by signing a three-year deal.
August 21 - Scores the winner on his debut for Wales Under-21s, who defeat Sweden 4-3.
2008: April - Plays his part in the Swansea youth side that triumphed in the FAW Welsh Youth Cup against Cardiff.
October - Joins Wrexham on a one-month loan deal and scores on his debut against York before his stay is cut short by an ankle ligament injury, which sidelines him for a month.
2009: April - Forces his way into Swansea's first team and scores his first goal for them against fierce rivals Cardiff.
May 29 - Makes his senior Wales debut in a substitute appearance against Estonia in Llanelli's Parc y Scarlets.
June - Named the club's young player of the year and signs a contract extension, keeping him at the club until 2012.
2010: Makes 21 league appearances in an injury-plagued 2009/10 season as Swansea narrowly miss out on promotion.
October - Puts in a man of the match performance as Swansea win the South Wales derby against Cardiff.
2011: May - Plays 43 matches in the Championship and also starts the play-off final win over Reading at Wembley as Swansea are promoted to the Premier League.
August - Signs a new four-year deal, tying him to the club until 2015.
October - Makes his first start for Wales in the 2-0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group G victory against Switzerland at the Liberty Stadium.
2012: May - Finishes the season as one of Swansea's key performers, scoring four goals in 36 appearances and is once again named as the club's Young Player of the Year.
July 2 - Selected as one of five Welsh players to be a part of Team GB's Olympics squad.
July 19 - Former Swansea and new Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers affirms his interest in Allen, saying: "He is a very talented player, which everyone knows."
July 26 - Organisers are forced to apologise after Allen is described in a matchday programme as English.
August 4 - Is an ever-present in Stuart Pearce's line-up as Team GB are eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the Olympics after losing on penalties to South Korea.
August 10 - Liverpool announce signing of Allen.